James Dolan Morse
Morse, approximately 1982
Date reported missing : 02/23/1982
Missing location (approx) :
Palm Beach County, Florida
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 04/02/1927 (94)
Age at the time of disappearance: 54 years old
Height / Weight : 5'11, 155 pounds
Medical conditions : Morse is classified as disabled.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Gray hair, blue eyes. Morse has a scar on his head. His DOB : is either April 2 or April 27, 1927.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Morse was last seen in Palm Beach County, Florida on February 23, 1982. He was en route from his mother's home in Apopka, Florida to his daughter's home in West Palm Beach, Florida, but he never arrived. He has never been heard from again.
David Lee Armstrong, a transient from Mountain View, Arkansas, used Morse's credit cards after his disappearance and sold Morse's silver 1964 Ford step van to his own uncle for $70. The van was heavily stained on the inside with Morse's blood and human tissue, including brain cells. Authorities determined that there was enough blood present to prove Morse had sustained fatal injuries.
Armstrong was arrested in Illinois for forgery in connection with Morse's credit cards; he was also wanted in Arkansas on an escape charge. He eventually confessed to killing Morse. Armstrong stated Morse had picked him up hitchhiking and he beat and stabbed Morse to death. He claimed he'd dumped Morse's body in a sugar cane field or the Everglades Swamp.
Armstrong pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August 1982 and was sentenced to the maximum term of fifteen years in prison.
Morse is a World War II veteran and worked as a carpenter at the time of his disappearance. Police have searched for his body without success. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
The Miami Herald
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Palm Beach Post
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
Updated 6 time since October 12, 2004. March 31, 2018; middle name added.